I was very impressed with the professionalism of the service and literature and extremely grateful for the advice provided. In our case, the [Enquire] Helpline helped to secure a positive outcome from the local authority for our child, together with a commitment to the revision of the authority’s policy.
ASL Myth: Children attending pre-school or nursery who have additional support needs have the right to a full-time place.
Broadly speaking, all 3 and 4-year-old children have a right to free, part-time, pre-school education at a local authority or partnership nursery (a ‘partnership nursery’ could be a voluntary or private establishment that offers pre-school education through partnership arrangements with the local authority.)
Every child is entitled to a total of 475 hours of funded, pre-school education per school year. This is normally provided as 5 sessions of 2.5 hours a week during term time. Some local authorities are flexible about how the sessions can be arranged.
The education authority may be able to provide a full-time place although this will depend on a child’s needs. There is no duty to provide a full-time or extended place for children with additional support needs (or those who may develop them) but local authorities can at their own discretion agree to do this. The education authority however, must always provide reasonable support to meet a child’s needs.
If you have any questions about you child’s additional support needs speak to the pre-school or nursery staff in the first instance or contact the Early Years department in your local authority.